blackcoot asks: "I'm currently suffering through an undergraduate class in AI where it appears that the first commandment of implementation is 'Thou shalt use Lisp of suffer the wrath of the TA'. I've been hacking away at Lisp for the past week now, and I've come to two conclusions: I hate Lisp; and Perl seems to have all the closure features that made Lisp so good in the past for AI [i.e. judicious use of
eval(...) and a little creativity can replace Lisp's
(lambda ...) ]. I'm looking to learn as much as possible from this class and hopefully not die implementing the projects in the process, so I'm hoping some of you out there can either point me in the direction of a decent Lisp manual or help me formulate arguments in favor of letting students use Perl as the implementation language." I can surely emphasize with blackcoot's troubles with Lisp, but can Perl emulate the features of Lisp that make Lisp good for AI? Might Perl have some advantages over Lisp when it comes to writing AI code?
"I think my major source of frustration is that the all the documentation that I've found on Lisp out and out sucks and the recommended text for the course ANSI Common Lisp by Paul Graham is pretty useless except for the appendix which has a list of usage for all the macros and functions in ANSI Common Lisp."
Those of you interested in comparisions of Lisp with other languages might be also interested in the recent comparison of Lisp and Java, as well.